Taking Command

   October 2008

Editor's Note
Election Day is nearly upon us. While most media is focused upon the race for the White House, many important state and local races also will be decided on November 4. And although most candidates and media are focused on economic and foreign policy issues, responsible dog breeders and owners are under legislative assault the likes of which has never been seen before. In 2008 to date, the AKC’s Government Relations Department monitored and addressed twice as many legislative issues at the state and local level as it did in 2007. This is why your political participation is crucial! It’s important that every dog owner and breeder take the time to learn where candidates stand on animal issues, and use that knowledge when voting. Read more.


Around the Nation
United States – The “Puppy Uniform Protection Statute”, or PUPS Act, has been introduced in the United States Congress. In the House, the bill is known as H.R. 6949; in the Senate, as S. 3519. Purportedly, the legislation will close a loophole in the federal Animal Welfare Act that currently allows large, commercial breeders who sell puppies online and directly to the public to escape licensing and regulation. The bill would require that anyone who sells an animal directly to the public for use as a pet and who breeds or raises more than 50 dogs for use as pets during any one-year period to be licensed. Additionally, it imposes mandatory exercise requirements for animals kept on dealers’ premises.

Read news from other states.



Preparing for 2009
While only a handful of legislatures are currently in session, dog breeders and owners must not become complacent. The coming year promises to be chock-full of legislative proposals aimed at restricting your right to own and breed dogs responsibly. In January alone, 45 of the 50 state legislatures will be in session. If the past is any indication, the number of bills applicable to dog ownership and breeding will continue to increase. (In 2007, the AKCís Government Relations department monitored and addressed approximately 400 dog-related, state-level proposals; in 2008, that number more than doubled!)

The AKCís Government Relations Department is ready to assist you with your grassroots legislative advocacy. We employ a legislative tracking system to monitor all state-level legislation that potentially could affect responsible dog breeders and owners, and issue e-mail alerts on major legislative issues. If you havenít done so already, sign up to receive those Legislative Alert e-mails by clicking here.

While we are proud of our track record, we know that we will face new challenges into the future. Our success in fighting bad legislation depends on you and your involvement in the legislative process. As subject-matter experts on dog issues, and as voters and tax payers in your communities, policy makers look to you to influence your communityís laws. When you learn of a dog-related proposal coming up in your community, contact the AKCís Government Relations department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org, and we will diligently assist you in your efforts. By working together, we can ensure that our rights as responsible dog breeders and owners will be protected.




AKC Government Relations
Walter R. Bebout, Director
Ana Catherine Dickens, Coordinator
Melissa Ferrell, Research Coordinator
Phil Guidry, Legislative Analyst
Sarah Sprouse, Manager

Phone: 919-816-3720 | Fax: 919-816-4275 | Email: doglaw@akc.org